Stonesoft Settles Complaint Against Check Point

European Commission investigation led to agreement

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Stonesoft said Tuesday that it will drop its complaint with the European Commission against Check Point Software Technologies after Check Point agreed to ensure it upholds free competition.

Stonesoft, a Helsinki, Finland-based security vendor with U.S. headquarters in Atlanta, filed a complaint last June alleging that Check Point was abusing its dominant position in the software-based firewall and VPN market to exclude Stonesoft.

According to Stonesoft, the European Commission investigated Check Point and was concerned that it threatened to withhold product supplies from some of its distributors and resellers if they tried to sell Stonesoft's competing firewall/VPN product.

After negotiations with the commission, Check Point agreed to provide a formal "undertaking," or voluntary commitment, to change its behavior, Stonesoft said.

Under the terms of the agreement, Check Point will tell its distributors and resellers via a letter that it will not condition supply of its products on whether or not they stock, market or sell competing products.

Check Point also agreed to ensure that its sales staff are informed about the commission's competition rules and understand they are required to comply with those rules.

Stonesoft and Check Point said they were pleased with the outcome of the commission's investigation.

"From our point of view, this was the fastest and the most effective way to ensure free and healthy competition in the market," Stonesoft CEO Esa Korvenmaa said in a statement.

"We are happy to continue our on-going compliance of the law as outlined in the European Union rules of competition and are committed to maintaining the highest business practice standards when working with our partners," Check Point said in a statement.

"Check Point believes, unequivocally, in promoting choice and upholding free competition and will continue to respect the right of our partners to offer a range of product options," the Redwood City, Calif.-based vendor said.

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